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So far Leila has created 93 blog entries.

Recipe File: Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

Homemade cookies are always a treat - the aroma wafting from the oven as buttery cookies cook never fail to brighten and warm a home, especially during the holiday season. So here's a delicious raspberry thumbprint cookie recipe to try.

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 2 cups and 2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • Raspberry jam (or any flavor jam you prefer)


  1. Using a mixer, soften the butter in a bowl until creamy.
  2. Add the sugar and vanilla to the softened butter. Combine well.
  3. Pour the flour into the mix. Combine until a soft dough is formed.
  4. Press the dough down to compact it and cover it with plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 3 hours (or, chill in refrigerator for 1.5 - 2 hrs then chill in freezer for 15 min).
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and begin rolling the dough into 1-inch balls. Place on a greased baking sheet. (Note: if the balls feel sticky and/or soft after rolling, place the dough back into the fridge for about 15 min or until the dough is firm).
  6. Make an indent with your thumb into each ball. If the dough ball cracks on the side, feel free to smooth it out with your fingers.
  7. Fill each indent in each ball with jam of your choice.
  8. Bake the shortbread cookies until the edges are slightly golden, around 14-15 minutes.
  9. Let cookies cool for about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Happy baking and happy new year! 

By | 2017-04-17T15:28:18+00:00 December 30th, 2014|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Foremost Wine Company: Where Wine Meets Global & Local Food

Does it really get any better than good wine paired perfectly with fresh, local and eclectic food? I didn't think so. And that's exactly what Foremost Wine Co. in San Luis Obispo, Calif. brings to the table, literally.

Foremost Wine Co. is a new restaurant opening in downtown San Luis Obispo. Not only is it a restaurant, but Foremost also features...

  • A wine lounge where you can relax and enjoy a glass of wine,
  • A wine retail shop where you can purchase wine at discount prices,
  • A wine bar where you can taste different flights of wine,
  • A charcuterie and provisions bar where you can sit sushi-bar style and watch the cooks cook in front of you and still get full dinner service at the same time.

Owner Rob Murray, a viticulturist and farmer on the Central Coast, hatched the idea for Foremost Wine Co. He owns 1,000 acres of grapes between Paso Robles and Santa Maria, Calif. and is passionate about growing the best possible grapes. Murray also produces four different wine labels that include Force of Nature wines, Tooth and Nail, Statis and Amor Fati.

Foremost Wine Co., San Luis Obispo, CA

The idea for Foremost began as a simple wine bar but it soon expanded into what it is today. Foremost general manager Johnny Kenny said that the idea "grew into this co-op of foodies, farmers, grape growers and winemakers that came together to create something more that what we initially intended on doing."

Foremost Wine Co.

The wine bar, restaurant and lounge aims to create and serve a global cuisine while using all local products. Acclaimed chef Julie Simon helps make that happen.

Kenny said that they source everything as local as they can. For example, Foremost gets all of their eggs from chickens in See Canyon.

"We also have an organic farm, a 4-acre organic farm, at See Canyon Fruit Ranch and See Canyon as well, where we plant all of our own produce and try to grow as much produce as we can for the restaurant itself," Kenny said.

The concept for the restaurant is to bring together the farm-to-table aspect "to where we actually are growing from our own farm" and the same for the grape-to-glass concept, Kenny said.

I had the opportunity to experience Foremost at one of their soft openings. Simply put, my friend and I were blown away. The atmosphere of Foremost is inviting and exciting. The decor is unique in that wine bottles line the walls of Foremost and chandeliers made from deer antlers hang from the ceiling. The waiters are friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and wine pairings, and they're obviously excited to be working there.

My friend and I started with a glass of Artezin Zinfandel 2012 and halibut cheeks served with lychees and strawberries served atop a bed of braised greens with a sauce made with coconut milk (below).

Foremost Wine Co.

We also ordered a charcuterie platter, hoisin braised duck leg, steak au poivre and fingerling potatoes. For dessert we had caramel budino and a chocolate tourt with rose jam and strawberries.

Foremost Wine Co.

Every single dish was amazing. You can taste the freshness and the complex and contrasting flavors of each dish that blended beautifully together. Needless to say, I'll definitely be back whether it's to enjoy dinner or to buy a bottle wine.

I encourage you to check out Foremost as well. You won't be disappointed.

Foremost is located in The Creamery at 570 Higuera St. The restaurant is planning to open to the public on Wednesday, November 12 beginning with dinners.

By | 2017-04-17T15:28:18+00:00 November 11th, 2014|Categories: Travel|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Luna Red in San Luis Obispo, Calif.: The Happiest of Hours

As I'm sure you have realized by now, I have a love for fashion and great food. Nothing can really stop me from dragging along a friend to try a new restaurant in town or a happy hour I have yet to try.

The latter is what brought me to Luna Red in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Though I've been to this lovely restaurant a few times, I had never tried their happy hour or their sangria that everyone raves about. So, I decided to give it a shot and see what all the talk was about.

For those who don't know, Luna Red is a restaurant and bar with a fantastic outdoor patio that you should choose to sit at if you get the chance. The restaurant serves tapas -- or small plates -- that are unique, fresh and absolutely mouth-watering.

I mean, where else can you find chorizo stuffed dates that are bacon wrapped, duck confit crepes or blue crab lasagna in San Luis Obispo? That's what I thought.

Luna Red's $5 happy hour is held Sunday through Wednesday from 3 pm - 6 pm and all day Thursday (seriously, all day). During happy hour, drink specials are $5 and select menu items are $5.

My friend and I ordered sangria, the smoked paprika hummus with flatbread, blue crab hushpuppies with an avocado remoulade and two arrachera skirt steak tacos. Though service was slightly slow, everything else was amazing. If I had to choose one dish that you must try during Luna Red's happy hour, it would be the blue crab hushpuppies. You won't be disappointed.

As for the sangria... it was the best. I completely understand why everyone raves about it. And for $5, how can you say no?

Luna Red, San Luis Obispo

For a delicious (and pretty happy) happy hour, visit Luna Red at 1023 Chorro Street.

By | 2018-02-16T20:25:15+00:00 October 11th, 2014|Categories: Travel|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

What You Missed This Week

Take a break and catch up on the latest.

Take a break and catch up on the latest.

From the latest news to the latest in fashion, here is a roundup of what you might have missed this week (and need to catch up on) from around the web:

Taylor Swift gets down in her new music video for her new song off her upcoming album 1989: "Shake it Off." And there's been a LOT of backlash.

Vogue's September issue cover was leaked (and announced!) this week and it is kind of a big deal.

Is the skinny jean trend over? According to a Bloomberg News report, the answer may be yes. I have my own thoughts about this... but I'll save it for another blog post.

Peanut and almond butter sold at major retailers have been recalled for possible salmonella contamination.

There's a reason people on your Facebook feed and dumping buckets of ice on themselves. Learn how the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge actually started and an interesting take on why we need to do better than the ice bucket challenge.

So how many makeup brushes do you really need? And why do you really need them? Elle Magazine breaks down the 11 makeup brushes you need to own.


By | 2018-02-16T20:28:25+00:00 August 20th, 2014|Categories: Lifestyle|Tags: , |0 Comments

5 Tips to Organize Your Life

5 Tips to Organize Your Life | Chicisms

Hit refresh by organizing and cutting out the clutter. Here are five simple tips to help you organize your life:

1. Find your perfect planner. Organize everything by writing it down in a planner or your Google Calendar (or both). Set alerts, write to-do lists and plan your day ahead of time to make sure you get things done. Color code important events/tasks like class, work, exams and errands to help organize your planner further and keep it looking pretty.

I purchased a 17-month agenda from Ban.do and I was really excited to start using it once August 1st came around. This agenda comes with fun stickers, color-coded month tabs with fun illustrations and quotes for every month and fun to-do's for every weekend (like "Clean your house in roller skates" and "Throw some confetti"). Check out  Ban.do's blog post on where you can find their fun agenda.

Bando Planner

2. Make schedules and deadlines for yourself. Clean the house before tomorrow. Do laundry at 12 pm on Wednesday. Finish writing that paper by Thursday at 3 pm. Work on the design for two hours on Friday.

Prioritize your tasks and create schedules and deadlines for each of them to make sure you devote time to each and complete them.

3. Do things one at a time. 

Trying to get three things done at once is, most likely, not going to benefit you. Focus on one project at a time to simplify and do things more efficiently.

4. Declutter. 

Someone once told me that a cluttered desk meant a cluttered mind. It's true. Split up areas of your home and/or workspace and take time to declutter each area one by one to keep your head clear and organized.

5. Take a break. Everyone needs one.

You can't stay organized while stressed. Remember to take a break and enjoy time with others and by yourself.  Take a hike, see a concert, read a book or do yoga.

California Mid State Fair - Train Concert

Train at the California Mid-State Fair

Do you have any tips for organization? Share them in the comments below!

xo, Leila

By | 2018-02-16T20:26:08+00:00 August 4th, 2014|Categories: Lifestyle|Tags: , |1 Comment